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supported by the sibling associations ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD and CAAD futures

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id ecaade2020_267
authors Argin, Gorsev, Pak, Burak and Turkoglu, Handan
year 2020
title Through the Eyes of (Post-)Flâneurs - Altering rhythm and visual attention in public space in the era of smartphones
source Werner, L and Koering, D (eds.), Anthropologic: Architecture and Fabrication in the cognitive age - Proceedings of the 38th eCAADe Conference - Volume 1, TU Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 16-18 September 2020, pp. 239-248
summary In the last decade, rapid penetration of smartphones into our everyday life introduced a new kind of urban wanderer named as the 'post-flâneur'. By navigating through the virtual and physical space with a smartphone, and taking and sharing photographs, post-flâneur walks and experiences the city in novel ways. This paper aims to investigate the effects of smartphone use on the human-environment relationship by comparing post-flânerie with flânerie in public space with a focus on two key indicators: alteration of 1) the visual attention and 2) the walking rhythm. In this regard, ten postgraduate Architecture students are asked to perform flânerie and post-flânerie consecutively in the historical city center of Ghent with an eye-tracker and a smartphone. During the flânerie condition, they walked and experienced the city without using a smartphone. In the post-flânerie condition, they used a smartphone, took pictures and uploaded them to an application. By analyzing the eye-tracker (number and duration of fixations) and the smartphone (location data and geolocated photographs) data, altering rhythm and visual attention during the flânerie and post-flânerie were compared. Preliminary results indicate that flânerie and post-flânerie differ in terms of rhythm and visual attention. The average duration of fixations on the environment were significantly lower in the post-flânerie condition while the average walking rhythm was faster but impeded from time to time. In addition, post-flâneurs' visual attention was on the smartphone during a significant part of the stationary activities which point out to an altered state of public space appropriation. The findings are significant because they reveal the novel spatial appropriations and experiences of the (post)public space -particularly "the honeypot effect" which was more significant in the post-flânerie condition. These observations evoke questions on how designers can rethink public space as a hybrid construct integrating the virtual and the physical.
keywords post-flâneur; rhythm; visual attention; smartphone; eye-tracking
series eCAADe
email gorsevargin@gmail.com
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